The Start Of Disease It has been said that, You Are What You Eat, and it would seem that truer words were never spoken. The state of your health is directly proportional to the quality of the food you eat and the quality of the liquids you drink, and in this chapter we will take a look at why this is so. We will start with the digestive tract and see what happens to the food you eat as it is carried along. In a previous chapter we followed the process of digestion as far as the small intestine, and we saw how the usable nutrients were absorbed through the wall of the small intestine, and how they were made available to the cells of your body. In this chapter we will focus on what happens to the food that is not absorbed. The Colon The food that is not utilized by our body passes through the small intestine, and is moved along to the large intestine, also known as the colon. To help us understand what happens in the colon we will take a look at what the colon is and how it works. If you look at figure 1 you will see a drawing of a normal colon. In an average person the colon is about five feet long and two and a half inches in diameter. It extends from the ileum (exit of the small intestine), to the anus, and is sectioned into four individual regions. These regions are the cecum, the colon, the rectum, and the anal canal. The movement of undigested food material is from the small intestine, through the ileum, and into the cecum. At this point, if there are too many toxins in this material, the toxins will be stored in the appendix until such time as the colon is able to eliminate them from your body. This material moves from the cecum upwards through the ascending colon, then from the right side of your body to the left side through the transverse colon, and then down through the descending colon, through the sigmoid colon, and on to the rectum where it is stored until it is eliminated. Two important things happen to this waste material as it passes from the cecum to the rectum. First of all, the last stage of digestion occurs in the colon, and any remaining usable nutrients are extracted from the waste material, and sent to different regions of your body. Also, if your body is in need of more water, it will also extract this from the waste material that is in the colon before it is eliminated.
It normally takes up to three hours for the remaining nutrients to be removed, and the available water to be extracted. After this period of time the waste material will have become semi-solid, and will then become known as feces. There are two major problems that can occur as a result of either excess or insufficient water in the colon, and they are diarrhea and constipation. Diarrhea results from decreased water absorption in the intestines, or by waste material passing through the colon too quickly for the water to be absorbed, and either of these will make the chyme very liquid. This can sometimes be caused by stress and can result in dehydration. The other major problem is constipation, and this occurs when there is either insufficient water content in the waste material, or there is considerable water absorption from the material that is in the colon. Constipation can also result from feces remaining in the colon for an extended period of time because of improper bowel habits, consuming the wrong kinds of foods, insufficient fiber in the diet, insufficient fluid intake, or lack of exercise. Proper Nourishment Before we continue with our discussion of the colon I would like to mention that your body can only perform to the level of the nourishment that it receives. This is to say that if you do not provide your body with nourishing food, you cannot expect it to be healthy and disease free, and to be able to perform to its maximum potential.
An analogy of this would be putting something other than gasoline into the gas tank of your car. How well do you think your car would run if you mixed water, or maybe diesel fuel in with the gasoline? If it ran at all, Im sure you could expect all kinds of problems to occur. We know that in order for your car to perform to the level of its ability you have to provide it with proper fuel. Why would it be any different with your body? If you load up with toxins and chemicals, instead of with nourishing food, how can you expect your body to be healthy? Most of the time your body is not receiving the fuel that it needs to allow it to perform the functions it was intended to perform. In a previous chapter we had a look at the chemicals and waste products that are in your commercially grown food, and it does not surprise me at all that most of us are ill. Colon Diseases If you do not provide your body with nutritional food, you can expect three very common conditions to occur. You can develop a stricture in your colon, you can develop a ballooned colon, or you can develop diverticuli pockets in the wall of your colon. These three conditions are shown in figure 2. It is known that different diets cause one or more of these three disease conditions to occur in the colon, but it is not known which type of diet causes which disease. Whatever the specific cause, disease because of improper diet will weaken your colon wall, and one or more of the conditions mentioned above can occur. The first of these conditions is a stricture, and when a stricture occurs, the colon is almost entirely prevented from passing the waste material along for elimination. As you can see in figure 2, the colon diameter is reduced to just a fraction of its normal size. This will cause the waste material in the colon to back up, and that will put tremendous pressure on the colon wall at the point before the stricture. The second of these conditions is a ballooned colon. The colon wall is very elastic and has been known to expand to many times its normal diameter. When ballooning occurs in front of a stricture, only a small portion of the material from this ballooned colon will be passed along for elimination. The majority of it will remain in the colon where it will decay and become toxic because of all the bacteria that develops in it. The third of these conditions is diverticulosis. If the body signals that waste removal is necessary and you do not allow this waste removal to occur, this material will back up into your colon. Your colon wall will stretch, and if the pressure is too severe, a small pocket may develop in the side of your colon (a rupture), and this will form into what is known as a diverticuli pocket.
In a very short period of time this diverticuli pocket will become filled with waste material; and because the waste material inside this pocket is no longer in the main elimination flow, this waste material will not be removed through normal elimination processes. It will decay and become toxic. (You can have numerous diverticuli pockets in your colon and not be aware of it until your colon shows signs of disease.) The ballooning condition of the colon and the diverticulosis will become particularly severe in a situation where constipation is present. The solid or semi-solid nature of the waste material in this situation will almost guarantee that this waste product will remain in these pockets, and will become diseased. Most people have no idea that these conditions are occurring in their colon, because they do not notice anything other than perhaps a slight discomfort from time to time. These conditions develop very slowly and it could be years before you have any indication that anything is wrong. The Autonomic Nervous System There is one item indicated in figures 1 and 2 that we have not yet discussed and that is the Autonomic Nerve Wreath (ANW). As shown, the ANW is attached to and runs along the entire length and along both sides of the colon, starting at the cecum and ending at the anal canal. Lets look at what this is so we can understand its function.
The Autonomic Nerve Wreath is part of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), which in turn is part of your Central Nervous System (CNS). These two nervous systems are both controlled by the brain, but they each perform different functions. The central nervous system controls the senses (vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) and all skeletal muscle functions, which is to say it controls all physical movement of your body. The Autonomic Nervous System controls smooth muscle fiber, cardiac muscle fiber, and the function of the organs and glands. In other words, all involuntary actions in your body. Let me expand on that a little. You do not consciously have to tell your heart to beat or your liver to function. You do not have to tell your individual organs and glands to function, your ANS does that for you. This is because the electrical stimulation that they require to function properly is provided by the ANS. The portion of the ANS that we are concerned with is the motor division, also called the output portion of the ANS. It is called the output portion because the ANS generates autonomic nerve fibers (signals) that are sent to the various portions of your body that are controlled by the ANS. In general, these nerve fibers stimulate various organs to start or increase activity (excitation), or they can stimulate the organs to decrease activity (inhibition). Most body structures receive both excitation and inhibition signals from the ANS, and how the structures and organs respond depends on the motor instruction received. If you look at figure 3 you will see a drawing of the colon with a number of other body parts also indicated in the drawing. The body parts indicated are connected via nerve fibers to the colon at the locations indicated. For example, the dot indicated as being the pancreas is connected via nerve fibers, through the ANS, to the pancreas; the dot indicated as being the heart is connect